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According to Slavic fairy tale, Mari Vanna was a sweet ol’ grandmother who welcomed weary travelers into her home. Kind of like the cannabalistic bitch witch in Hansel and Gretel except she didn’t jack yo’ $%@& and lock you in the oven. Already taking New York, London and Moscow by storm, Mari Vanna’s largest location boasts 6,500 square feet of inedible but stylish chandeliers, comfy armchairs (sleep with one eye open!) and antique rugs.

I bet your babushka never had a private third-floor cocktail lounge, but Mari Vanna does.  This fist-pumping attic isn’t like any grandmother’s house I’ve ever been too, and it’s stocked with over 70 kinds of house-infused vodkas plus a cauldron of cocktails like The Klubnichka, a strawberry spritzer; The Sunny, a seaberry martini; and the Pomidorchik, also what they call Janelle Monáe in Russia.

Explore three floors of old Russian tchotchkes, Faberge eggs and trinkets, but stay for the salt-cured pork and caviar, baked cabbage pirozhok buns, blinis with smoked salmon and sour cream, dumplings, beef Stroganoff, chicken kotletki and fishcakes–all to the sound of a live accordionist.  Oh, and dress to impress ‘cuz the chairs are not made out of frosting.

Photos: Travis Vaughn

Mari Vanna
1141 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036